I wonder just what effect the new iPad Air will have on keyboard covers? The iPads one to four were all big enough that you could pretty much squeeze a full-sized keyboard into a matching cover, but all the keyboard cases I have so far tried for the iPad mini have been unusable, like a netbook keyboard.
Belkin’s new keyboards for the iPad Air hope that physics will continue to favor the former situation.
The new Qode lineup consists of three keyboard cases: The Ultimate (a slim, aluminum, folio-style case for $130); the Thin Type (a smart-cover-style keyboard that looks smoking hot and has no price yet); and the Slim Style ($80, and would be great looking if it wasn’t overshadowed by the other two).
They offer all the usual features (a proper on-off switch, dedicated iPad function keys), but as ever the proof of an iPad keyboard is in the typing, so we’ll have to wait to review it.
Happily for Belkin, it looks like the iPad Air will still be cool for keyboard cases. While the new iPad is dramatically narrower (6 inches (169.5 mm) instead of 7.31 inches (185.7 mm), it’s only 0.1 inches (1.2mm) shorter. And as the height of the iPad corresponds to the width of the keyboard, this is the important dimension.
So, good news all round I guess. The mini is going to be trickier though: a fast A7 processor and a Retina display aren’t going to make tiny keyboards any easier to use. Maybe manufacturers will just give up like they did with Lightning docks, and instead make amazing full-sized keyboards with built-in stands and iPad-specific functions?